Category Archives: General

‘The Daily Tck: 10 December 2011 at 2pm’

One day into overtime at COP17, and no-one at the ICC seems to be very clear about what’s happening. But if the delays mean that vulnerable states are digging in their heels when confronted by proposals from rich countries that spell certain disaster, then deadlock is in fact progress. Because what the world cannot afford is further pretense that current actions are sufficient.

More detailed insights below, from the Global Climate Change Alliance:

Daily Tck: 2pm on Saturday, 10 December
When Ministers started arriving in Durban a few days ago many NGOs reminded them “it is all to play for”. Yet negotiations are now well into overtime and there are so many issues still at play that is hard to see an outcome that can be celebrated.
If there was one word to describe what is going on as the Durban climate talks drag on into midday Saturday – ‘chaos’ certainly comes to mind.
Yesterday’s Daily Tck referenced the ‘dreadful’ Chair’s proposed text on the Big Picture and it was almost universally panned particularly by the LDCs and AOSIS who pleaded for a much more ambitious outcome that gives them a chance a survival. Continue reading

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Activists waiting outside the ministerial indaba at the Durban exhibition centre, as everyone waits for news.


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How to stop climate change at COP 17?

There are a lot of people at COP 17, inside and out, wandering around uncertain how exactly they can make a difference by being here. If you’re someone with a firm opinion on what to do – besides learning and teaching, and building alliances for climate justice – then please speak up in the comments.


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COP starts awash, Occupy COP 17 in Durban

The COP began with a warning from Mother Earth, as wild weather hit Durban on Sunday evening, killing eight people in floods, damaging infrastructure and raising disease risks, an object lesson in the effects of climate change.

The South African shack dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, responded:

For how many years must we keep saying that human beings cannot live in fire and floods, amongst giant rats and in the mud? For how many years must we keep saying that we are being forced to live in life threatening conditions everyday while millions and millions are spent on stadiums, airports, conferences and incredible salaries for the super-rich? For how long will our demand for our humanity to be recognised by treated as criminal and treasonous?

Occupy COP 17

I’ve been too slow to report that the Occupy COP movement is here in Durban, with activities at Speakers Corner at the corner of Bram Fischer and Walnut Roads near the ICC. There’s a news report here, and you can get updates on Facebook.

At the COP

China has offered to take on binding commitments by 2020, potentially a move that could unlock some progress in the negotiations before rich countries come with other reasons to continue their inaction. Although this is not a new offer, its Continue reading


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Welcome to Durban

Your blog host on bikeWell, welcome to Durban if you’ve arrived here for COP 17. And thank you for having us, if you’re a resident. I arrived from Cape Town on Thursday, with my bike and have been really enjoying finding my way around, even climbing the formidable hill to the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where many civil society events will be centred over the next two weeks.

Of course, the two biggest events will be the Multi-faith Mass Rally and Concert at Kings Park Stadium, led by Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu tomorrow (gates open 10am, music from 12.30pm, seriousness from 14h00), and the march on the Global Day of Action, next Saturday Dec 3. (Note that Kings Park Stadium is right behind the more modern Moses Mabhida Stadium).

I’ve added several schedules of events to this website, for the faith communities (pdf), the general public, and others. And here’s a list of all civil society events at Howard College UKZN.

In the last week, we’ve heard that the big polluters have Continue reading


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Patrick Bond: ‘A climate conference, old and new oil curses, and Norwegian Good Samaritans’

By Patrick Bond

The stench of rotting blubber would hang for days over The Bluff in
South Durban, thanks to Norwegian immigrants whose harpooning skills
helped stock the town with cooking fat, margarine and soap, starting
about a century ago. The fumes became unbearable, and a local uproar
soon compelled the Norwegians to move the whale processing factory from
within Africa s largest port to a less-populated site a few kilometers

There, on The Bluff s glorious Indian Ocean beachfront, the white
working-class residents of Marine Drive (perhaps including those in the
apartment where I now live) also complained bitterly about the odor from
flensing, whereby blubber, meat and bone were separated at the world s
largest onshore whaling station.

Ever since, our neighborhood has been the armpit of South Africa. A bit
further south and west, in a black residential area, the country s
largest oil refinery was built in the 1950s, Continue reading

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Hello (warming) world

In December 2011, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) jamboree will arrive in Durban, South Africa, for the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17). South African civil society is already beginning to prepare for that event, and this blog will track those preparations, beginning with some first-hand accounts of the progress of the imminent COP 16 negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.


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